Oakland Rising Action is excited to announce that we have endorsed Nikki Fortunato Bas for the Oakland City Council in District 2! We know that Nikki brings the expertise and experience to tackle the tough challenges that face Oakland. Nikki’s vision for bold, progressive leadership that creates an Oakland for everyone is aligned with Oakland Rising Action’s values.

Nikki Fortunato Bas is a proven champion for justice, integrity, and bold solutions – just the type of leader we need for City Council, District 2.

Nikki Fortunato Bas

Nikki started organizing in Oakland Chinatown 25 years ago, working with brave immigrant women garment workers who were cheated out of their wages by their employer. There she learned the meaning of justice through seeing those women stand up for their rights, over four long years, until they won. Since then, she has been learning from and standing with women, immigrants, and communities of color to work for justice. She is the former Executive Director of local community organization East Bay Alliance for a Sustainable Economy (EBASE) and current Executive Director of the national group Partnership for Working Families. She has made the tough but clear choice to leave her job in order to pursue deeper service to her home city of Oakland in this time of a void of moral and political leadership and adequate response to the most pressing needs of our city – addressing the crisis of housing and homelessness.

For two decades, Nikki has been an advocate for working people, leading the passage of policies in Oakland to create the building blocks for regional, state, and national change. She has fought to raise Oakland’s minimum wage with paid sick leave by pushing for the passage of Measure FF, working with City government and developers to secure a nationally groundbreaking good jobs policy for the Oakland Army Base redevelopment and partnering with neighborhood and environmental groups on a Clean Trucks Program for the Port of Oakland to reduce diesel emissions and create healthier neighborhoods.

Nikki comes with decades of expertise in coalition building and bringing the right people to the table to move a progressive agenda forward. ORA is confident that Nikki is the right fit for serving the residents of District 2 on the Oakland City Council.

This decision has been a long time in the making and hasn’t been reached easily. In 2014 we endorsed the now incumbent councilmember, Abel Guillen, calling him the hope that Oakland deserves. We mobilized around his campaign and helped him win by a slim margin of fewer than 400 votes. Unfortunately, once in office Councilmember Guillen quickly revealed his true colors as someone who is more aligned with profit-driven developers and our failing police department than with the community he pledged to serve during his campaign.

Just a couple days ago on May 9, 2018, it was revealed via a Public Ethics Commission complaint filed by the E12th St Coalition that Guillen allegedly broke the law by accepting political contributions from developers at the same time he was negotiating deals that they were bidding on. He sold out the community, betrayed their well-organized process, and put his own interests first to line his own pockets with the dollars of developers. He is also the Councilmember who proposed cutting illegal dumping clean-up crews and homeless services from the city budget in the midst of vehement community safety concerns, particularly pertaining to the East Lake and San Antonio neighborhoods.

Abel Guillen allegedly broke the law by accepting political contributions from developers at the same time he was negotiating deals they they were bidding on.

Fortunately, we have a proven champion for justice, integrity and bold solutions in Nikki Fortunato Bas. We believe that in this time of unprecedented housing and homelessness crisis, we deserve leaders who will courageously stand by their values and by the people of Oakland in addressing the most critical issues in Oakland. Guillen’s symbolic gestures like banning city contracts with companies who bid to build “the wall” and his basic community service like graffiti removal are nice – but not enough.  It’s time to move away from weak-willed leadership. We deserve leaders who will provide efficient response to both constituent concerns and the larger systemic problems like homelessness and illegal dumping – and Nikki brings a proven track record of doing so.

Peace & Progress,

Jessamyn Sabbag
Executive Director

P.S. – Chip in $18 to help fuel our 2018 election work! We promise to use every cent of your contribution to have personal conversations with voters to make the changes that our community envisions and deserves!